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Poster: Reade Date: Aug 22, 2010 10:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: best GD 'icebreaker'

I was 2 or three minutes into your 8/72 Bird Song when it became immediately clear what cleared your room. Two words: Phil vocals.
While Deadheads are notoriously tolerant of the band's overall vocal acumen most others on the planet will not be. Just sayin'.......

The other posters who have recommended keeping it short and sweet have it just exactly correct. Don't swing for the fences, just try to get good wood on the ball and drive it up the middle. Go for the home run later when the bases are loaded, ie when you've got their attention.

My recommendation is a 6-8 minute tune with a competent vocal and a tasty guitar break. For me I'd just lay a '76 or '77 Jerry Ballad down. Nothing mournful; keep it sweet. (Stella Blue comes later).

How's 'bout try a Peggy-O from Chicago?
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1976-06-29.sbd.unknown.2594.shnf
or New Haven?
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1977-05-05.sbd.cantor.7725.shnf
Two excellent performances IMO but at different tempos. (New Haven's a bit brisker in pace).

Great post and good luck.